Despite a number of new drug approvals in 2011, there are still major challenges in developing effective oncology therapeutics and drug combinations that demonstrate significant survival advantages. Mechanisms are needed to ensure that the next generation of oncology researchers has the necessary skills and training to lead oncology drug development.
With this in mind, the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology launched a new research grant opportunity in 2012 to extend its line of distinguished professorships. The Drug Development Research Professorship (DDRP) is designed to support outstanding researchers who are dedicated to bringing advances into the clinical arena. These researchers are exploring new and promising therapeutic compounds that will lead to improved treatments, and they are committed to mentoring young researchers in the scientific and regulatory aspects of drug development. The 2012 DDRP is supported by Sanofi Oncology.
First DDRP Recipient
The first DDRP recipient, Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, is Senior Vice President of Clinical Research, Chairman of the Department of Medicine, and a Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. His career has focused on preclinical and clinical experimental therapeutics and on evaluating mechanisms of drug activity and synergistic drug combinations in the laboratory, while performing phase I clinical trials in the clinic. In the spirit of the award, Dr. Adjei has decentralized his administrative responsibilities to dedicate more time to research and mentoring.
“I’m honored to join the elite group who have received professorships from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO,” said Dr. Adjei, who joins five previous recipients of Conquer Cancer Foundation professorships. “This grant will greatly benefit our trainees and allow me to spend more of my time mentoring the research team.”
Currently, Dr. Adjei mentors a phase I clinical trials group at Roswell Park, which includes four junior faculty members. He is also mentoring a fellow from the new Drug Development Fellowship Program at Roswell Park, and the DDRP will allow him to mentor more drug development fellows as the program expands. ■
© 2012. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.